So, now there’s *another* blood-from-teenagers start-up.

When I first read the story, I asked myself “Hey, didn’t this already happen and I wrote about it?”  And it turned out that I did, back in November.  But that was a company called Alkahest. These are an entirely different company of literal bloodsuckers:

It might sound like science fiction, or a recent episode of “Silicon Valley,” but a start-up called Ambrosia is charging $8,000 for blood transfusions from young people.

About 100 people have signed up to receive an infusion, founder Dr. Jesse Karmazin said Wednesday at the Code Conference.

Continue reading So, now there’s *another* blood-from-teenagers start-up.

Tweet of the Day, …I Dunno. Maybe Vampires? edition.

Yeah, this is kind of weird.

 

I’m sure that there’s an angle/Photoshop explanation, though.  Or, sure, vampires. Everybody kind of wants it to be vampires, apparently.

Via @snarkandboobs.

In the (E)-Mail: Ken Hite’s Night’s Black Agents.

On super-special pre-pre-order edition, mostly because I get the general impression that they could use the pre-pre-orders.  Well, that and the fact that a roleplaying game that features both classic spy paranoia and vampires is going to appeal to me on general principles.

Not a review copy, alas: I don’t have that kind of mojo in the gaming world, more’s the pity.  What I’ve read of it so far is spiffy, though.  Pelgrane Press’s stuff usually is.

‘Teen Paranormal Romance.’

David Thompson passes along a picture of a section header from a Barnes & Noble; I saw something similar (‘Supernatural Romance’) at a Books-a-Million yesterday when I picked up a copy of Gail Carriger’s Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate).

(pause)

Gimme a break, it’s steampunk.  Alt-history steampunk horror.  OK, OK, maybe there’s just a bit of romance novel ethos in it… but it also has clockwork assassin beetles in it, so I don’t want to hear any snickering, OK?  Anyway, this entire werewolf/vampire Byronic hero thing seems to be quite the fad.  Did the demographic that reads romance novels get bored with pirates?

And, more importantly, is there any way to suck them farther into the genre?

Not to start a blood feud, but Instapundit’s dead wrong on this.

I just can’t get behind Glenn Reynold’s assertion that The Dracula Tape deserves to be called “the single best vampire book.” I was tempted to give him a pass, given that Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula (which – barely – edges out Saberhagen’s very good book) is part of a series – but then, so is Saberhagen’s.  Newman’s knowledge of Stoker’s book easily matches Saberhagen’s, and the former’s grasp of the genre easily overshadows Saberhagen’s.  While I readily admit that Saberhagen showed a real flair at creating a book that completely subverts the original text without contradicting the actual words, the outer world of Newman’s work is simply better fleshed-out, and somehow more real.

And then there’s all of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s stuff, which is certainly literary enough to suit the folks that aren’t all that into the messy mechanics of it all.

Duelling “Blood: The Last Vampire” trailers.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Blood – The Last Vampire translates to live-action, but there’s a bit of a problem.

Here’s the Japanese teaser trailer:

…and here’s the American actual trailer.

I suspect that I’m going to want to see this one in subtitles.

Was Twilight really *that* bad? (with a Barbara Hambly reference!)

I mean… that bad?  The authors of that piece did everything except formally declare kanly on Stephenie Meyer.  Certainly this guy was likewise unimpressed:

Since I’m bringing up vampire books, people may want to try these two by Barbara Hambly instead: Those Who Hunt the Night and Traveling with the Dead. They’re horror/fantasy novels set in the Victorian time period, and are remarkably free of sentimentality about the implications of vampirism as it’s portrayed in historical myth.  Which is to say, it’s a condition whose sufferers are apex predators who have no option but to eat human beings on a regular basis to survive, and who possess a set of abilities that allow that to be done easily.  Or, more shortly: monsters.

Monsters who can think.

Moe Lane

I wish that the physicists would stay out of vampirism studies.

After all, do I try to give them advice on quantum mechanics?

(Via Fark)  There are some people trying to be ‘helpful’ on understanding the ongoing bloodsucking menace – and, in the time-honored tradition of scientists opining outside their field, they’re being less useful than if they had just been quiet about the whole thing.

If vampires are indeed living (unliving?) among us, then shouldn’t we have seen an undead population explosion by now?

Fortunately, our best minds are on the case. Physicists Costas Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi’s paper “Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality” offers a full explanation.

Efthimiou and Gandhi conduct a thought experiment: Assume that the first vampire appeared on January 1, 1600. At that time, according to data available at the U.S. Census website, the global population was 536,870,911. Efthimiou and Gandhi calculate that, once the Nosferatu feeding frenzy began, the entire human race would have been wiped out by June 1602 (thus forever changing the course of history by preventing the invention of the slide rule eighteen years later).

Having tracked down the paper in question, I am thoroughly unsurprised to see that the typical “assume the cow is a sphere” thinking predominates.  As I suspected, the authors fairly obviously based their assumptions on research that was originally gathered to track zombies: this is a common problem, as the basic reference and engineering texts for that field of research benefits from a general consensus in the academic community.  The conclusion that said research is applicable to other aspects of Undead Studies is not unique to Efthimiou and Gandhi.

Unfortunately, the field of ‘Undead Studies’ is a social construct, not a physical one: it is really a cross-disciplinary field that encompasses not only a plethora of various supernatural types, but also individual sub-species within those types.  As even a cursory look at the literature will reveal, there is precisely zero consensus over what even constitutes a vampire, let alone its feeding habits, lifespan, and/or reproductive cycle.  I am also forced to wonder where there is a sort of Balkanocentric bias being displayed by Efthimiou and Gandhi; contrary to flashy researchers, there is no reason why we should use the nosferatu over, say, the penanggalen for basic research data.  There’s not even an agreement in the community that vampires are a single-prey species! All in all, I find their base assumptions laughable.

And as for their critics!  I grant that the mathematicians did raise interesting points on birth rates and food supply, but to discuss this topic without actually looking at real biological predator/prey life cycles (or, as my engineer wife suggests, viral infection cycles) is practically criminal.  Moving from them to the economists… honestly, dragging in the social sciences to answer a problem that is clearly primarily the province of biology is inane at best and unholy meddling in God’s domain at worst.  In other words, the Smithsonian has the right idea:

Time to consult the zoology journals.

Indeed. At least, the cryptozoology journals.

Moe Lane

My random musings on vampires.

So, Underworld. Not bad for what was effectively five bucks, but a surprising lack of skin for an R-rated vampire flick. The gun-fu wasn’t bad, but it just lacked that certain “let’s talk about your worrisome, yet darkly compelling, sexual hangups” that permeate our modern understanding of the genre.  Not that I watch vampire films for that.  At all.  Ever.  Not me, no how, no way.

Moving along: why don’t vampires ever snack on people that seem, you know, healthy? As in “my breakfast was more than three olives and a picture of a celery stalk” healthy. Either they’ve got this weird thing going about cholesterol, or the side effect of vampirism is apparently going down to three percent body fat and a perpetually sullen, yet stylish, expression. If the latter is true, that means (as has been noted elsewhere) the legions of the Undead are probably missing out on a great long-term financial opportunity.

Lastly: if I ever use Abraham Lincoln as a character in a roleplaying game, he is so totally going to look like this.

Moe Lane

PS: Hey, at least this way I didn’t have to watch the press conference. How many questions did he manage this time? Six?